Illinois News

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Mattoon fire protection service insurance rating improves

The City of Mattoon's insurance rating for fire protection service recently improved, a change that could yield lower insurance premiums for some property owners. Fire Chief Jeff Hilligoss said the Insurance Services Office (ISO) issues these ratings for how well protected communities are by their fire departments. Insurance companies then use that score to help set property insurance rates, although the impact on homeowner insurance policies varies by insurer. An ISO fire insurance rating is scored on a range of 1-10, with lower numbers meaning better ratings. There are four main criteria for for score: 50 percent from the quality of the fire department, 40 percent from the availability of water supply, 10 percent from the quality of the local 911 system, and an extra 5.5 percent from fire prevention programs.
Mattoon Journal Gazette & Times-Courier

4 homes catch fire on Chicago’s Northwest Side

Four homes and a coach house caught fire on Chicago's Northwest Side Wednesday. The fire started in the 2400 block of North Mason in the Belmont Cragin neighborhood at around 2 p.m. Massive flames and thick black smoke poured from the residential block, as firefighters on ladders attacked the blaze. Officials said the fire started in one house and spread to others. A total of four houses and a coach house were damaged in the fire. Chicago Fire Department officials said one firefighter is being treated for non-life-threatening injuries. No other injuries were reported in the blaze.
WLS-TV ABC 7 Chicago

New chief has family history, long work experience with Mattoon Fire Department

The new chief, Jeff Hilligoss, who is helping guide the future of the Mattoon Fire Department has a long family and professional history with this organization. Hilligoss said he was introduced to the Mattoon Fire Department at a young age by his grandfather, firefighter Lloyd Ring, who brought him to the station and let him check out the fire trucks there. "I have been around this department my entire life," Hilligoss said. He noted that his uncle, Bob Bales, was also a Mattoon firefighter. In 1995, Hilligoss began pursuing his own career in firefighting when he became a volunteer with the Lincoln Fire Protection District. Hilligoss ended up serving as a volunteer firefighter for 25 years with Lincoln Fire and was eventually named chief of this district's Old State Road station in rural Mattoon, a position he held until recently.
Mattoon Journal Gazette & Times-Courier

Garage catches fire at home owned by New Life Pregnancy Center in Decatur

Firefighters battled a garage fire Wednesday in Decatur. Firefighters said they responded at 4:26 p.m. to 1051 W. Mound Road, where they found fire coming through the roof of a three-car garage. The garage was attached to a large 2.5 story residence located at the end of a long lane. Responders said the home was under renovation in recent weeks and is owned by New Life Pregnancy Center. Firefighters battled the fire as it ran through the large attic areas of the structure. They brought it under control within an hour. Crews went through extensive overhaul at the scene. Firefighters cleared the area at 7:03 p.m. Wednesday.
WAND-TV NBC 17 Decatur

Barrington Countryside fire district trying again for new station off Hough Street

The Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District is making a second try at building a new station that officials say is needed to improve service to the district's east side. Fire Chief James Kreher said the proposal for a roughly 5-acre site at 1004 S. Hough St. is part of the district's longtime desire for a third station that would benefit residents in Inverness and nearby areas. The land is in unincorporated Cook County just outside Barrington. "We're going to try to make it fit in the neighborhood," Kreher said Wednesday. "It's on a main road where we can get to the eastern part of our district much quicker and it also helps us assist with the northern part of our district and the southern part of our district." Before construction can occur, Barrington Countryside must go through a county approval process, starting with a zoning board of appeals online public hearing at 10 a.m. July 8.
Illinois Daily Herald - Metered Site

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Chicago police, ATF, seeking to ID suspects in arson fires following George Floyd’s death

Chicago police and federal investigators are working to identify people who set fire to dozens of businesses and vehicles following the death of George Floyd. Many businesses went up in flames across the Chicago area during violent unrest. Because of the sheer number of fires that were set during that weekend, federal officials were brought in to help. Many businesses went up in flames across the Chicago area during violent unrest. Because of the sheer number of fires that were set during that weekend, federal officials were brought in to help. The national response team from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms spent weeks in Chicago going through surveillance video. On Tuesday, they released images from just 10 of those fires.
WLS-TV ABC 7 Chicago

Arson investigation underway after Rockford garage fire

A garage is completely destroyed after its apparently set on fire early Wednesday morning. Around 3 a.m. Rockford Fire responded to a call in the 2100 block of Parmele Street for a detached garage fire. Crews arrived to the scene to find the structure fully engulfed in flames. Crews were able to extinguish the fire only after the structure was ruled a total loss and collapsed. The fire also damaged two nearby garages with radiant heat. Rockford Fire reports there were several collector cars inside the garage at the time. The estimated loss is $30,000. Damage to any vehicles was not disclosed.
WIFR-TV CBS 23 Rockford

Lightning strike starts fire in attic of Gurnee townhome

Authorities believe a lightning strike is responsible for starting a fire in a Gurnee townhome Monday evening in the north suburbs. The bolt struck about 6:40 p.m. and left distinct charring on the roof, according to Gurnee Fire Battalion Chief Bob Heraver. A neighbor noticed smoke and alerted 911 and the family four, who safely evacuated the home in the 700 block of Wakefield Road, Heraver said. Firefighters arrived and found smoke pouring out from the attic area, he said. “We went inside, looked around and didn’t see a large volume of fire,” Heraver said. “There was smoke in the attic. We pulled out the ceiling to get access and wet it.” In all, the fire was contained in a quarter hour, but crews stayed another 45 minutes to make sure it didn’t rekindle, he said.
WFLD-TV MyFox 32 Chicago

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